Apps To Help You Connect With
Friends and Family Online
Connecting and spending quality time with loved ones is one of the most important things to prioritize in life. In this day in age, families, and friends are more spread out geographically than ever before. Luckily, the age of technology has made it possible to build strong bonds with one another, even despite not being face to face in person. Grandparents may always prefer that in-person hug and point of connection, but when that is not a realistic option, apps can provide the next best alternative to relationship building with their grandchildren. Whether it’s a long-distance romantic relationship, a family separated by states or oceans, or friends from college who have moved away, apps can allow for connection and bonding in alternative ways. While nothing beats those in-person moments, there are multiple types of apps that work to bridge those gaps to help you connect with friends and family online. We’ve compiled a list and spoken to some industry titans on some of their favorite ways to connect with long-distance loved ones.
Video Chat Apps
Rising in popularity during the pandemic, the world will never be the same thanks to video calling apps. These apps allow you to see your loved ones face to face. Used frequently in work environments, video call apps have allowed people around the globe to work together towards a common goal. This can be the same for families and friends alike.
“One of the most inspiring parts of the pandemic was witnessing all the creative ways in which our world sought to connect,” says Daniel Kroytor, CEO of TailoredPay. “I have colleagues who host happy hours, game nights, movie watch parties, and more. Seeing the ways mankind championed human connection in alternative ways will always leave me awestruck.”
Group messages can often be complicated for iPhone and Android users, as pictures and videos get lost and phones can rebel against the different systems. Many families and friends have chosen instead to prioritize texting apps where people with all different phones can talk on the same platform.
“Finding alternative ways for people around the globe to connect is so important to us at Psychics1on1,” says Melissa Rhodes, their CEO. “Texting is one of today’s most essential forms of communication, so why is it so hard? Choosing a platform which is accessible to all has been a wonderful way to see my family connect in a group message format through heartfelt messages and hilarious inside jokes.”
When connecting with children, games can be a great avenue and icebreaker to forge deeper connections. Sadly this is an opportunity that many parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles don’t get the opportunity to engage with the children in their lives when they live far away. Implementing an app that allows you to play games virtually together can be a great alternative.
“Familygame nights is one of the first things that we hear about from clients when we ask them what they miss about in-person connection with their family,” says Phillip Akhzar, CEO of Arka. “Luckily, we’ve made it possible for families separated by distance to still play games together, and the response we have received has been so genuinely heartwarming.”
Do you miss hanging up a special child in your life’s art on your walls or fridge? A simple gesture like this champions all the little artists in your life and communicates to them that their work matters to you. So, how do you encourage this from miles away? Art sharing apps are a great place to start.
“Interactive apps are a great place to start if you are seeking to forge deeper long-distance connections,” says Kevin Miller, Founder of Kevin Miller. “Allowing the iPad to become the new easel may sound bizarre at first, but it allows for loved ones to create something beautiful together. This is a priceless opportunity.”
Photo Sharing Apps
The most common way to stay in touch in the digital age is through sharing photos, and lots of them! Shared photo albums can be a great place to share new pictures with family members and loved ones. Unfortunately due to lack of compatibility between iPhones and Android systems, it can make it hard to find a platform to share things together. By choosing an app to all use that has photo sharing capabilities, all parties are allowed access to the magic of updated photo albums.
“A photo is worth a thousand words, and sometimes it can make all the difference to a human heart who is missing a loved one desperately,” says Fred Gerantabee, Chief Experience Officer of Readers.com. “By finding a place that makes that sharing accessible and easy, we can only hope that the bonds of connection are increased and the long distance feels minimized.”
Voice Messaging Apps
Nothing beats hearing the voice of a loved one. Using apps that allow you to send audio messages back and forth is a great alternative to texting, when you are not on the same time schedule to actually call. By using a voice messaging app, you don’t have to worry about calling at the correct time. Instead, you can hear your loved one's voice whenever.
In this era of uncertainty for your family and ours with the global health cris, it's never been so important to stay in touch with the people that matter most to us,” says Vlada Bortnik, CEO of Marco Polo. “Check in with friends or family who need to hear from a friendly face. Let’s show up for each other.”
The importance of human connection is truly unmatched. American author and speaker Margaret J. Wheatley speaks to the essential components of prioritizing people. “Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone. ” Perhaps it’s time for you to pick up the phone and find a creative way to connect with a family member or loved one. You won’t regret it.